Owning a chinese 125 motorbike-my personal experience!

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Now i have wrote guides warning people against other chinese vehicles in the past. however i didnt go by my own advice. all my friends were getting 125's and a friend of a friend offered to swap my yamaha moped for his chinese enduro bike (hongdou gy) 'so it was easier to get it in the garage'

i didnt have a close look at the bike but swapped anyway completely oblivious to what id just done. he told me it needed some work like panels and indicators etc but i didnt quite realise the extent of the problems.

The bike at first glance needed 1 side panel and touching up on 3 others and a full set of indicators. it had bits touched up without masking aswell but i looked past it. after a few days of riding and wondering what all the wobbles and wierd vibrations were i had a good look around, heres what i found.

rear sprocket was held in by 1 snapped pin out of 4 this was the main problem. the back wheel had 6 spokes missing. back swingarm had play, back tyre bald, front dipped beam not working (even after replaced bulb) brake light not working, back brake was poor and didnt last more than 2 weeks. fitted new indicators and they kept playing up as the connectors were poor. exhaust was rusty and snapped 2 weeks later.

i really should have got my money back or atleast looked at the bike first, this bike was 06, so i thought how bad could it be?

the back wheel buckled after 4 weeks really badly, the back brake wouldnt bleed properly at all as the seals had gone and it was drawing air in. i think it was a month later, 2 of the engine mount points on the r/h/s snapped and had to be rewelded. had problems with the chain/sprockets wearing out so replaced them all. the standard chain snapped and cut into the wiring to the stator and so cut the spark out. clutch always slipped really badly from when i first owned it

battery died around this time, fitted a new one, then the electric start packed up completely, charging system also refused to work at random which meant the indicators flashed a bit eratically. the front brakelight switch went a few times, back brakelight switch also broke. choke lever snapped off as it was stiff and shite, went through clutch cables like noones business, one every 2-3 weeks, made my own ones in the end. went through 3 throttle cables.

3 months after owning the bike the engine blew up, it seemed a bit down on power so i dropped it down a gear and bang it went. 5 mile push home and found out the piston had hit the valves. bought a second hand engine from furbers £180 as the bike served as my main transport.

the swingarm bushes arent available so really you need a complete swingarm, these come at a cost of around £80 brand new? the pins to hold the sprocket in cost £20, the linkage for the swing arm with piss poor bushes is £40 odd? full rear braking system is £100+ the parts are hard to come by hence ripoff sites breaking whole bikes and reaping in the benefits with prices like these.

the wiring had fried in a few places hence losing brake lights dipped beam etc, both switchgear units broke, the horns broke (yes both of them) the panels are poor quality, made from cheap paper thin plastic, not flexible plastic like on proper enduro bikes. not to mention the gy bikes look horrible... i modified a dtx rear end, front mudguard and enduro headlight onto mine.

i know theres plenty more to add to this but i cant remember it off the top of my head...

dont forget insurance... for me to insure a honda cg 125 with 1 years moped no claims it was £170 tpft. for a start you need to find a company to insure the bike. i rang loads before searching the internet and finding rampdale. this company also takes you for a ride... £340 tpo. had to be paid i was stuck with the bike. bare in mind when buying a new bike you need a company to insure it via the vin til dvla issue you with a reg number, rampdale is the only company ive heard that does this.

so to summarise; the bikes are cheap, once youve got one youll have a bare minimum parts warranty if any, your demonstrating to other bikers you havent a clue about real bikes, you will have endless headaches, using the bikes daily will need daily maintanence. they will cost you far more in the long run in parts, insurance etc. i dread to think how much a garage would charge if you werent mechanically minded! they handle shite, they are dangerous, they are horrible to look at, they are rediculously unreliable and will probably ruin your life.

Just pay the bit extra for a nice yamaha/honda. dont ever waste your money on one of these bikes!

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